Unesco: some mother languages are more equal than others

Which is why Davidson L Hepburn will be welcomed to Barcelona next week.

An interesting paradox:

  1. Feb 16: Centre Unesco Catalunya – Unescocat and Xarxa d’Escoles Associades a la UNESCO are among the organisations calling on the Catalan government to ignore the Constitutional Court rulling that parents have a right to educate their children in Spanish, the state language and their mother tongue.
  2. Feb 21: The Centre UNESCO de Catalunya will celebrate International Mother Language Day with a speech by Davidson L Hepburn, President of the General Conference of Unesco.

The paradox is only apparent: on International Mother Language Day some mother languages are more equal than others, and one of the benefits of agreeing is that you may qualify for the free lunches for life enjoyed by the generally useless and frequently fascist apparatchiks who crowd the Unesco trough. Still, it will be interesting to see whether Mr Hepburn uses Spanish (which he speaks reasonably fluently) or pretends he only knows English (which might bring a restaurant upgrade).

Although it may generally be beneficial, particularly in primary, I don’t really give a toss about mother tongue education. Rather I think parents should be allowed to choose the medium, be it Berber, English or medieval Occitan, on the grounds that they care more than the educational bureaucracy about their children’s interests and probably know enough to make an intelligent decision. The consequence in Barcelona, as in India, would be the rapid marginalisation of the “national” language, which would be of immense economic benefit to all … except to the handful of state parasites pictured in link no 1 above.

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  1. The crude and bitter truth is that Spanish is the lingua franca of Catalonia and mother tongue for the majority of its inhabitants. If Catalonia has to be defined as a nation, what would be its national language?

    This is the local paradox.

    Now let’s see if Hepburn opts for the free meal and a few self-congratulating slaps on the back.

  2. Why do you keep reminding me about this shit?

    I was sat happily in my living room in Bucharest, watching the snow melt, and suddenly I have to think about spluttering, humourless, extremist martinets blabbering on for hours about why linguistic rights are only applicable to “own languages” or “proper languages”. I want to punch someone now, and it’s not even half ten yet.

  3. Hey there, boy!

    Nice to see you still feel attached to us, and still find the right words to express it. I hope you’re doing well. (But I’m worried about the snow in your living room.)

  4. Bucharest is the place to be: from Ceausescu-ian Lebensraum to living rooms in a couple of decades is not to be sniffed.

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